“YEP course was perhaps the greatest decision I have ever made… if you can even call it a decision. Destiny is a better word.”
-Vamsi Reddy

Vamsi

I stand at the bus stop.
11:00… the watch on my right hand beeps.
*Wasn’t this watch on my left hand when I first came here?… It’s like Swamiji strategically massaged his entire personality into the grains of mine*
11:05… a dog barks in the distance.
*Was I no better than that dog when I first came here- ignorant in my own conditionings? I don’t feel that different, but my smile says otherwise…*

11:10… my cellphone buzzes.
*What an odd sensation. After two months with barely any cellphone usage, the metal contraption I pull out of my jeans gives me goosebumps. I don’t feel obligated to respond- rather than being a slave to my phone, I feel like the master. I feel free- Freedom is Discipline.*
11:13… I itch at a mosquito bite.
*I am not the body. Stop.*
11:14… my hand slides up to my mala.
*It feels so natural around my wrist. A constant reminder that I am always in Satsang and Japa is my asylum from the pressures outside*
11:15… a man standing next to me curses.
*I shiver and mutter Narayana as a reflex. Fear creeps in. I am going back to Samsara, to the real world, to college, to profanity, to drugs, to temptations, and to disorder. Have I become weak?*
11:16…I look away to catch a glimpse of myself in a car window.
*My hair has grown back mostly, but my Shika stands out. My one attachment. It dawns on me that I am leaving so much stronger- physically, mentally, and spiritually. Happiness is inside.*
11:17… I smell tamales from a nearby stand.
*Oh I was so pampered. The food at camp was AMAZING… even that is an understatement. Not to mention the bag of treats in my left hand that the aunties decided I might need.*
11:18… My mind slips to home.
*Family. Honestly, I didn’t feel that homesick… I built a new family. 23 people that will be with me at every nook and corner- such a deep friendship culminated.*
11:19… I look back
*I see Maureenji and Swami Paratmanandaji smiling at me… they personally requested to see me off. So many people care, it’s astounding.*
11:20… It’s time
*Where has the time gone? I remember first moving in and groaning about how long this summer was going to feel. I was so wrong.*
11:21… I look back at my watch
*The bus is late. I had become hypersensitive to every minute- five minutes early is being on time, right?*
11:22… The bus arrives.
*As the driver packs my luggage, I wonder how much luggage I have dropped here and if I can continue to better myself as I leave this sanctuary. I swallow the lump in my throat and look at the Bus Vahana that’s taking me away. Bring it.*
11:24… I board.
*As I wave goodbye- Going into the outside world, my only regret is having to leave Piercy a week early. YEP course was perhaps the greatest decision I have ever made… if you can even call it a decision. Destiny is a better word.*

Vamsi attends Georgia Regents University. He is working on consistency and editing for data consolidation of the CHYK West website.